Demetrious Johnson (25-2-1) has now defended the Ultimate FIghting Championship (UFC) Flyweight title nine consecutive times. Johnson, 30, defeated Tim Elliott (14-7-1) via unanimous decision at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 24 Finale last night (Dec. 3, 2016) inside Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. Elliott proved to be one of the most worthy challengers in Johnson's four-year reign as the Flyweight king, but the champion was absolutely dominant on the ground throughout the 25-minute contest.
Two of the judges scored the bout 49-46, while the third scored the bout 49-45.
"Tim Elliott is a hell of a fighter," Johnson said to Jon Anik after the bout. "It was like wresting a damn muskrat. I tried to neutralize him, man."
Elliott came at the champion with big punches early in the first, but "Mighty Mouse" landed a takedown followed by a cartwheel pass into side control. In a scramble, Johnson nearly locked in a belly-down armbar, but Elliott -- who won TUF 24's tournament -- was able to escape. Then that Elliott almost locked in a guillotine choke for the upset, but Johnson was able to escape that with a thumbs up to referee Herb Dean. Elliott landed a big left hook on Johnson soon after and then took down the champion with a single-leg takedown with little more than 30 seconds left in the round. Elliott kept heavy top pressure on Johnson, but did not land a single punch while they were on the ground.
Johnson went in on a takedown early in the second and Elliott attempted a guillotine choke. The champion popped out his head and then deftly transitioned to the back of Elliott. Elliott managed to escape a rear-naked choke attempt, and Johnson advanced to side control. Johnson flirted with a kimura attempt, but Elliott did not relent. Johnson secured a crucifix and went after Elliott's arm once more. Later on in the round, Johnson took Elliott's back for a second time, but came up empty. As Elliott popped up to his feet, Johnson took his back and pushed him up against the fence, landing several short elbows in the closing seconds of the round.
In the third round, Elliott went in for a takedown, but Johnson took his back once more. The champion could not secure the rear-naked choke, though, and Elliott regained position. Johnson, who was absorbing some big punches, locked up a single-leg takedown and landed on top in Elliott's half guard. Elliott tried for a triangle, but Johnson gained top position and moved into side control where he'd stay for the remainder of the round.
Johnson began the fourth round with some low kicks and landed a takedown soon after. The champion passed into side control and took the back of Elliott yet again. This time Johnson got his arm under the chin, but Elliott managed to survive the choke attempt. Johnson locked up a crucifix again and rained down several punches before Elliott moved out of harm's way. Johnson almost had another kimura submission, but couldn't seal the deal. He then switched to an armbar attempt, but couldn't get that, either, and Elliott popped back up before the round came to a close.
In the fifth, Elliott landed a solid double-leg takedown in the opening minute, but lost position after attempting an ill-advised guillotine choke. Johnson spun around like clockwork, passing from the back, to north/south, and then into side control. Elliott recovered to guard, but relinquished control once more as Johnson regained top position. With just under a minute left, Johnson attempted another armbar, but came up empty. The champion regained top position and remained there until the fight came to an end.
It was another dominant performance by the champion, who has now won 11 straight and improves to 13-1-1 in UFC. His last loss was to Dominick Cruz in a Bantamweight title fight back in 2011. Elliott, meanwhile, was a game opponent, but other than the early choke attempt, never put the champion in any true danger.
Elliott has nothing to hang his head about after proving to be a tough out for the champion on top of winning TUF 24. He falls to 2-4 in UFC and had his three-fight win streak snapped in defeat.
For complete TUF 24 Finale results, including play-by-play updates, click here.